We are just about ready to officially start our new year. But, before we move on, we were blessed with an opportunity to preserve some memories about what happened this past school year. I am an avid picture taker, but many times the photos don't make it any farther then my blog or Facebook. They don't get printed out and saved, or mailed to grandparents. My parents read my blog, but my IL's don't, so they don't ever see what we are doing in school. I'm also not much of the scrapbook sort of girl, so really, my poor children are quite neglected in the 'preserved memories' arena.
When we were asked if we wanted to review Picaboo Yearbooks, I *almost* said not really. We already have yearbooks from our school co-op, and I take plenty of photos. Then my DH reminded me that my children only show up in the co-op photos once or twice and then it's a book of photos that we only know 1/2 the kids since we don't participate in every single activity.
So, we decided to give Picaboo a try and we are very glad we did!!
Picaboo Yearbooks offered us a 20 page, soft cover, personalized yearbook. At first I thought I might have a hard time filling the 20 pages. Yes, I hear you laughing. Not sure why I ever thought that. No, we I filled it quickly and wished I had about 80 more pages to fill!
What I did with ours was to use the first page to highlight some photos of all the children. Then, I did 2 page spreads for each child. On one page, I put their 2012-2013 photo that I took back in September. Underneath, I put their name, age, grade, and then a list of highlights and accomplishments. Things like 'learned addition and subtraction, or 'started reading,' completed AWANA Cubbies book one, or favorite song is the ABC song. The second page of the spread are photos of just them doing school work, or highlights in their year. Maybe a birthday celebration, or a parade they were in.
After the individual pages, I had 5 pages of the kids doing Montessori school activities. I think I could have expanded this section a bunch more! It was so hard to narrow down the pages! I plan to take our yearbook around when I am discussing homeschooling with other moms and am so excited to be able to pull out the photos and show what Montessori looks like at home.
The final 5 pages highlighted field trips that we took over the school year and beginning of the summer. A great way to share with grandparents what we 'did at school.'
As I mentioned above, one reason I am super excited about the book is to be able to show others what homeschooling looks like (at least for us), and that I have some way to show that it's not as hard as it sounds when I am talking to a new homeschooling mom :).
But, above all the extra reasons, I am so thankful to have this little memory book to share with my children for years to come!
Now I realize there are many other ways to produce this book, but I felt that the Picaboo software was very easy to use. They offered TONS of beautiful background graphic options and I was able to add as many photos as I wanted and could either arrange them myself or choose a pre-set layout. I then wrote on the pages in whichever font I wanted (of which there were many) and then choose the color I wanted. They also had stickers that could be added, but I'll be honest I never had any room on the page for extras! I wanted to fill all the space with photos :).
The only 2 drawbacks I found in my book making. First, I could not rearrange pages within the book once I had them all laid out. *Maybe* there is a way to do this that I couldn't find. So, I hope I am only saying something that is true. The second drawback is that they make a really nice 'how-to' tutorial video. Unfortunately, there wasn't a way to stop the video and let it load before watching, so many times I went to the site my internet speed was going so slow I couldn't see it. One night, I happened to get some fluke bandwidth and I watched it, the was very nice and helpful-though my book was pretty much complete at that point.
The Picaboo Yearbook we received is REALLY nice quality! The pages are thick, bright, easy to read, overall just great.
Picaboo Yearbooks start at just $8.99 (for the 20 page softcover book like we received) and increase with additional pages, or upgrades such as a hardback cover. There isn't a minimum order, so it works well for an individual family or small group. Shipping is extra, starting at $8.99. Picaboo Yearbooks can be used for schools, clubs, churches, Co-Ops, families...pretty much anytime you want to remember something as a group. Their turn around time is 3 weeks-though we got ours a bit faster. And, you also receive a free e-book when you order your print book.
I would certainly recommend Picaboo Yearbooks and plan to make one each year moving forward. They are a very inexpensive option to preserve priceless memories!
Be sure to see what others thought of the Picaboo yearbooks by checking out the Crew Blog!